Frommhold Royce Johnson might be the future of Ohio State field hockey

At the end of this season, the Ohio State women’s field hockey team will lose four players, including its top three scorers, but the future seems to still be bright. Three women are playing in their first year at OSU — sophomore midfielder Mona Frommhold, freshman midfielder Emma Royce and freshman forward Peanut Johnson. — two of whom lead the team in minutes on the field. Growing up and playing field hockey in Berlin, Frommhold received multiple awards. She was named the best defensive back in 2006 and 2007 at the German indoor championships and the best player at the championships in 2006, 2008 and 2010. She is also a member of the U-21 Germany National Team . As a freshman, Frommhold played in Germany and then transferred to OSU. She said her biggest transition to playing here was combining school and her sport. “We don’t have a college league, we only play in club. The practice between the classes is different than Germany to here,” Frommhold said. Since the first game of the 2012 season, Frommhold has stepped into a starting role. She has started all 17 games, is fourth on the team in goals with six and has tallied four assists. She also has the second most playing time on the team with 1,197 minutes. Frommhold described one lesson she learned from this season so far. “Prepare to have a lot of practice, not only two times per week,” Frommhold said. “Everyday be prepared to practice.” Hailing from Kingston upon Thames, U.K., Royce has played in all 17 games this season and following the season opener has been part of the starting lineup. She has scored two goals and leads the team in playing time with 1,203 minutes. The mental toughness required by players is the biggest lesson Royce said she would take from her first season of college play. “People underestimate how much work and effort and strength you need,” Royce said. “I’m certainly going to prepare myself mentally for not just playing good teams but playing great teams.” Coach Anne Wilkinson said the biggest adjustment for the two international players would be the frequency OSU plays games. “There’s no time to let down … in international (leagues) they don’t, maybe, play three games a week. They’re not used to that grind here … going day in and day out,” Wilkinson said. When it came to Johnson, a Dayton native, Wilkinson said what she learned was “the physicality of the game.” The season opener was the only game Johnson has not played. Since then, she has started six games, come off the bench to play in ten other games and has scored five goals and three assists. Johnson also described the lessons she’s learned from her freshman season. “How much work you put forth as a whole team, like you have to have a common goal and make sure you are on the same page when you are going into the season and each game, and I think that will carry into next year as well,” Johnson said. read more

Evening News Break – April 29th 2016

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppEvening News Break, April 29th, 2019Listen Now **Tomorrow morning you can support a cook out to aid in the ‪#‎medical‬‪#‎expenses‬ of Roshara Williams at ‪#‎CIBC‬ FirstCaribbean, Leeward Highway branch.**New insurer in the country shared what research exposed are factors for the ‪#‎Caribbean‬ people not securing insurance for their properties.**‪#‎Security‬ ‪#‎companies‬ have little to no ‪#‎legislation‬ to support their own, personal security. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin second wedding date reportedly revealed

first_imgJustin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin wedding dateJustin Bieber (@justinbieber/Instagram)Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are technically husband and wife as they both have already married in an NYC courthouse. The couple, however, intended to get married in front of friends and family and as per reports, we might get to see Justin and Hailey’s wedding pictures soon as they are planning to throw the extravagant wedding party somewhere in September 2019.Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin shocked their millions of fans when last September when they secretly got married after a couple of months of dating. Many considered it as a hasty decision but as this one year has turned out, Justin and Hailey are perfect for each. They both have supported each other in every thick and thin, it won’t be wrong to say that Hailey is a perfect match for Justin.Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have been planning a second wedding ceremony for a very long time. Earlier they wanted to throw a grand party right before the Canadian pop singer’s 25th birthday. But as we all know, the “Sorry” singer is currently facing some health issues and that is why they decided to hold on to the wedding ceremony. But fans will soon get to see Justin Bieber in his black tux waiting for Hailey Baldwin as she will walk down the aisle.As per the latest report, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are reportedly planning a large wedding around the same time as their first wedding anniversary. The next event would serve as a celebration for their family and friends. Their first anniversary is on September 13, so as per reports, they might be celebrating with family and friends around the same time only. Justin Bieber and Hailey BaldwinJustin Bieber Official Instagram (justinbieber)Reportedly, the acclaimed model is working closely with a wedding planner and they all are pretty excited for the upcoming nuptials. The insider revealed that the “Never Say Never” singer began seeking treatment for depression in February and continues to focus on his health only but as of now, he is doing fine.”He keeps getting treatments and working on maintaining good mental health,” the source adds via People. “He is producing music but taking things slowly. He is learning how to manage his life better just in general.”Well, fans from around the world are pretty excited to see how Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin will throw their grand wedding party. We are sure their wedding guest list will include several of their A-list celebrity friends. It should be noted that Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin’s reps are yet to comment on the second wedding date. It may change for some unforeseen reasons.last_img read more

Trump scraps Pompeos N Korea trip

first_imgUS secretary of state Mike Pompeo listens as US president Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US on 18 July 2018. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump on Friday abruptly canceled his top diplomat’s planned trip to North Korea, publicly acknowledging for the first time that his effort to get Pyongyang to denuclearise had stalled since his summit with North Korea’s leader.Trump partly blamed China for the lack of progress with North Korea and suggested that talks with Pyongyang, led so far by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could be on hold until after Washington resolved its bitter trade dispute with Beijing.It was a dramatic shift of tone for Trump, who had previously hailed his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a success and said the North Korean nuclear threat was over, despite no real sign Pyongyang was willing to give up its nuclear weapons.But Trump still kept the door open to a second summit with Kim, with whom the president recently said he has “great chemistry.””I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump wrote on Twitter.The North Korean mission to the United Nations declined to comment.Negotiations have all but deadlocked since the summit in Singapore. Pompeo has pressed for tangible steps toward North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear arsenal while Pyongyang is demanding that Washington first make concessions of its own.Trump’s statement came just a day after Pompeo said he would again visit North Korea and would take his new special envoy, former auto industry executive Stephen Biegun, with him.But Trump asked Pompeo not to go during a Friday meeting and they crafted the tweets together, White House officials said.National security adviser John Bolton, considered a leading North Korea hawk, weighed in by speakerphone during a visit to Ukraine, US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Many other key officials learned of Trump’s decision by seeing the crawl across a television screen, some during a meeting on North Korea negotiations, officials said.Some US intelligence and defense officials had considered Pompeo’s latest trip to be premature and said the prospects for significant progress appeared dim.Pompeo, who would have been making his second visit to Pyongyang since the summit, had not been due to meet Kim this time.Trump himself was still open to another meeting with Kim, in hopes of advancing the process, but was not pleased with the latest signals from North Korea, a White House official said.Onus On ChinaTrump put some of the onus on China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner and a crucial actor in enforcing sanctions to keep pressure on Pyongyang.”Because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place),” Trump tweeted.”Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” Trump wrote. “In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”Trump told Reuters on Monday he believed Kim had taken specific steps toward denuclearization and that they would “most likely” meet again.Kelly Magsamen a former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian affairs, said Trump was undermining his leverage with Kim as well as that of Pompeo and his new envoy.”It’s fine to not send the Secretary due to lack of progress, but don’t then also talk about how you are eager to meet with KJU and how China is thwarting you,” she tweeted.Christopher Hill, a former US ambassador to South Korea, tweeted: “Looks like @realDonaldTrump has begun to worry about #NorthKorea intentions. Good decision especially if otherwise Pompeo would have returned empty handed.”Kim made a broad, vague commitment in Singapore to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but has given no sign of willingness to give up his arsenal unilaterally.Talks since then have made little headway, with the two sides far apart on denuclearization and the US insistence for this to happen before North Korea sees any sanctions relief.On his last visit to Pyongyang, in July, Pompeo left saying progress had been made, only for North Korea within hours to denounce his “gangster-like demands.”U.S. officials have been trying without success to persuade North Korea to detail the extent of its nuclear arsenal.Trump’s decision came just days after the UN nuclear watchdog reported it had not found any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities.However, some analysts suggested Trump’s move may also be a negotiating ploy. In May, Trump announced he was calling off his planned summit with Kim, citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility,” only to reverse himself eight days later.The cancellation follows two days of US-China trade talks in Washington that ended with no sign of progress toward resolving a deepening trade war between the world’s two largest economies and no plans for more talks in the near term.last_img read more

Unsafe E Coli Levels Found In Houston Floodwaters Homes

first_img Share Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.An aerial view of the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston on Aug. 31. Once homes flood, bacteria can multiply faster than in flooded areas outdoors.Water in some flooded Houston homes is contaminated with bacteria, lead and other toxins, according to a New York Times report. The paper organized testing in two Houston neighborhoods with experts from Baylor Medical College and Rice University, along with the Houston health department.One home was found to have 135 times the level of E. coli bacteria that is considered safe.The contaminants ended up in homes after sewage treatment plants in Houston saw more water than they could handle during Hurricane Harvey.Houston’s storm drainage and water treatment systems are supposed to be independent of one another, but an unprecedented amount of rainfall brought storm water into treatment plants.“When we get very heavy rainfall and flooding, there is infiltration [of storm water] that occurs in these sewer lines,” Lauren Stadler, an assistant professor of of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University who took part in the Times‘ research, tells Houston Public Media. “That can basically overload our treatment plants.”Because those treatment plants were overloaded, engineers had to rush incoming water through, skipping a step in the treatment process. The plants then emptied the partially treated water into Houston’s bayous. Those bayous flooded, letting contaminated water into people’s homes.Once homes flood, Stadler says, they become good environments for bacteria to multiply. The warmth and stagnant water provided by a flooded structure, when combined with the nutrients from sewage, mean that bacteria can multiply faster inside homes than in flooded areas outdoors.Stadler urges people not to make direct contact with floodwaters, if possible. She notes that while draining water will take most contaminants along with it, residents of flooded homes should have their houses disinfected after waters recede.last_img read more

Googles Greater China President Steps Down

first_img 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. July 16, 2013 Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters Google Inc. said on Monday that its vice-president and Greater China president, Liu Yun, has stepped down to pursue other opportunities.His replacement will be Scott Beaumont, who currently runs the company’s partnerships business in Europe.Google’s share of the search engine market in China has been slipping, spurred by its decision to no longer censor its searches on the mainland and move its servers to Hong Kong in March 2010, just months after Liu took over.Google held 8 percent of market in terms of page views in June 2011, coming second to Baidu with 81 percent, according to Chinese data firm CNZZ. Its share has fallen 6 percentage points over two years according to last month’s data, dropping to fifth place. New entrant Qihoo 360 already holds 15 percent of market share.”Once they made the decision to move their servers out of mainland China their prospects here dimmed considerably,” said Mark Natkin, managing director of Marbridge Consulting, a China technology research firm.Google’s Android operating system has also proven difficult to monetise, despite its success in terms of take-up in China.For the three months ending in April this year 69 percent of all smartphones sales were on the Android system. Phones using Apple’s iOS, Android’s closest competitor, made up 25 percent of sales in the same period, according to data from Kantar, a market research group.The ways the company usually monetises Android, like its app store, often get stripped out of the software in China when it is remade for the local market, said Natkin.Related: How Apple’s App Store Changed Business at Its CoreThe prevalence of Android in China drew the ire of its political system in a March report by the state-controlled think tank China Academy of Telecommunications Research, which operates under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.The report said that Google had too much control over China’s smartphone sector, which had become dependent on Android, and had discriminated against certain local firms.The paper suggested that the government would throw its full support behind a viable domestic challenger to Google.”Google’s biggest challenge remains how to penetrate China,” said Elinor Leung, Hong Kong-based head of Asia telecom and internet research at CLSA.”Their servers have been moved to Hong Kong and their Android operating system has been localised,” she said, adding that Liu’s departure and the arrival of Beaumont would likely have little impact.Related: Google Releases New Maps App for Smartphones and Tabletslast_img read more

This Former Apple Executive Brought His Company Through 2 Tough Pivots and

first_imgSeptember 5, 2017 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Freecenter_img 6 min read Matt MacInnis says that he’s wanted to be an entrepreneur since he was a teenager living in a small Canadian town. And he points to one moment during his freshman year at Harvard in 1998 that set him on a path to running a company whose clients include McDonald’s, Whole Foods and Comcast.An Apple representative had visited his computer science class and during a presentation showed off Mac OS X. Afterwards, he spoke to her and she mentioned the company was recruiting a campus rep. MacInnis, a self-admitted Apple nerd, signed up.”If I hadn’t just walked down and had that conversation with her, I never would have gotten that job and I never would have been connected to Apple,” he says. “Some other life would have happened, but this trajectory I’m on, it all sort of can be rooted to that one 10-minute conversation.”Related: This Founder Is a Gambler at Heart. Learn How Risk Led Him to Opportunity.That trajectory saw him working at the tech giant, where he did education marketing and business development. While content at his job, he was still looking for an opportunity to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. That moment came in 2009, when MacInnis saw the device that his boss Steve Jobs would eventually show off a year later: the iPad.”I saw the iPad in development and knew that it was going to be an exciting technology,” he says. “So, we started a company to kind of tackle the question of textbooks on iPads.”The company MacInnis co-founded, Inkling, started by selling digital textbooks directly to consumers. But despite what seemed like a good idea (Apple sold 3 million iPads in the first 80 days after its release), it wasn’t long until that business model fell apart. Inkling would have to undergo two hard pivots before getting to where it is today: a company with tens of millions of dollars in revenue and growing at more than 50 percent year over year. Now, it’s the maker of an app for the web and iOS and Android devices that acts like a digital content system to help employees get their jobs done. Think: digital training manuals, tips, references and company announcements. Also, with its messaging service, task organizer and analytics tool, it is a full-stop service for so-called “deskless workers” — most of the people in retail and food.Now with $95 million in funding and 100 employees, MacInnis explains how he went from book dealer to workforce problem-solver.The first pivot: Jumping from B2C to B2B”The original hypothesis around digital textbooks was a good one. We got Sequoia as the main investor and a lot of shit went right,” MacInnis says. “The only part of the business that didn’t go right is that 18 year olds don’t give a shit about textbooks. So publishers cared and investors cared and we cared, just not the people who had to spend money.”Related: Richard Branson: There Needs to Be ‘Perpetual Revolution’ Within Your BusinessUpon this realization, Inkling decided to make the drastic switch from a business-to-consumer model to a business-to-business model. It started after Starbucks came calling with a good idea. The coffee giant said that rather than ship binders used to train employees every quarter, it would use Inkling to make those materials available to employees on iPads. Inkling started to license its tools to companies such as Comcast and KPMG, allowing them to convert their materials into digital content to be read on mobile devices.Image credit: Courtesy of Inkling Because of this shift, Inkling went from making very little off consumer textbooks to building tens of millions of dollars in recurring revenue, according to MacInnis.But this model wasn’t enough to sustain the business. About two years ago, MacInnis admits that the company scaled way too quickly, with 25 percent of its 160 employees working on the sales team. There just wasn’t enough business for its digital content project to keep going.”We knew that the content thing itself was interesting, but it felt like a one-legged stool,” he says.Inkling needed a new solution. It went to its customers to find out what they were missing. The answer was in retail.The second pivot: Taking on the world of retailManaging a large store such as a Walmart, Target or Kohl’s is a complicated affair. These retailers can employ up to 200 people, who all have moving shifts. When you zoom out to the regional manager level, that headcount could quadruple.Related: Is a Pivot Imminent? These 5 Signs Say ‘Yes.’Inkling’s current offering simplifies these managers’ jobs, as well as everyone under and above them. With its tools, Inkling not only provides digital versions of training guides and employee manuals, but there are also interactive quizzes and demonstrations, so an employee on the floor of a furniture store only needs to look at their device to create a matching display. Once they’re done, they can snap a photo that is sent to their manager. Managers can keep running tallies on tasks they’ve assigned. Meanwhile, co-workers can message each other without the need for phone numbers.”In 2013 to 15, we were like the Bentley of the employee handbook,” MacInnis says. “Today, the core experience is really messaging.”Inkling’s business model now is 80 percent subscription revenue and 20 percent services revenue, MacInnis estimates. It has dedicated teams who create branded versions of Inkling for each big client, most of whom work in retail and the food industry.Top to bottomInkling has been in business for seven years, and underwent two pivots. MacInnis says that the company’s culture and a strong belief in its product is what helped it thrive.”When I go in and pitch customers on the platform, I’m pitching them on reduced labor expenses, improved labor efficiency and ultimately better customer experiences” MacInnis says. “But I honestly don’t care about that part of our business. The emotional part for me is when we put this exact sort of interface in front of [store employees] and they just started giggling. They’re so excited to use it because it would simplify all this crap that they do today over text message and email and stuff.”last_img read more

In This Issue   Currencies are mixed today ag

first_imgIn This Issue. *  Currencies are mixed today, again. *  Krone takes its turn in the woodshed. *  Durable Goods Orders go negative. *  The Swiss Gold Referendum revisited. And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. It’s A FOMC Day!  . Good Day!…  And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! The Moody Blues song: New Horizons, from the Seventh Sojourn album greets me this morning, what  wonderful song to start the day with. And it puts me in a good mood to start the day, you can’t beat that with a stick! I’m teetering this morning between feeling good or bad. I don’t know which way this is going to go, but I sure hope it’s what’s behind door #1! Today, we have the FOMC meeting, which will dominate the markets now until the dust has settled on the announcement, that Quantitative Easing / QE has ended, but maintain their bias that rates will remain near zero for a “considerable time”. The currency markets don’t know whether to feel good or bad about what is thought to be what’s on the docket for the FOMC this afternoon. Yes, ending QE is a good thing, fundamentally, for you give back to the markets, the direction of bonds. Where it should reside at all times, but has been in the hands off and on, of the Fed since March 2009. But. The Fed is going to keep a lid on interest rates for a “considerable time”. What that means in terms of actual time is anyone’s guess, could be a year, could be 6 months, could be 2 years, could be all the way to infinity!  Of course, I don’t believe the Fed will pull a Buzz Lightyear to infinity and beyond, as I truly believe that rates, while stuck in the mud right now, will eventually rise, and when they do, the Fed will be playing catch-up, as they always do, and the rate hikes will be swift and strong! So, it would be reasonable safe to say that the higher yielding currencies should be taking this “considerable time” message to heart. I have to laugh when I type the words “higher yielding currencies”  because it’s all relatively speaking, and the total currencies that qualify would fit in your shirt pocket!  But nonetheless, there are those that do qualify, like the Brazilian real, which spent Monday in the woodshed, after having to go out and pick out its own switch, is on the rally tracks today, with a nice strong positive move this morning.  The Russian ruble is another currency that qualifies, but there’s nothing good happening to the ruble these days folks, so let’s move along here, for this is not the droid we’re looking for, right now. The S. African rand, has always been in this higher yielding currency camp, and it’s doing just fine this morning. And then two charter members of the group, the Aussie dollar (A$), and N.Z. dollar / loonie, who don’t exactly have high yields, but when compared to the zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) countries of the U.S., Japan, Eurozone, Sweden, and so on. Well, the A$ and kiwi are the big winners this morning, as they are outperforming the other currencies, which isn’t saying much considering that Swedish krona got whacked yesterday for their rate cuts, and the Norwegian krone is taking its turn at the whacking station after posting some bad data this morning. Yes, Norway saw their Retail Sales go negative in September, and their Unemployment Rate rise in August. That’s a one-two punch in the gut for the krone, as I’ve told you all previously that the Norway’s Central Bank, the Norges Bank, was teetering on whether or not to cut rates, and when you get data like this, you tend to shift your weight to the rate cut side. For those of you keeping score at home, Norwegian Retail Sales for September were negative -.1%, VS +.6% in August, and a consensus for a .7% rise. So, very disappointing I must say, but. it is only one month’s data, so let’s all calm down a bit, and back off that whacking you’re giving the krone this morning! Norwegian Unemployment in August rose to 3.7% VS 3.4% in July. Looky there! 3.7% Unemployment without BLS hedonic adjustments, and everyone is imitating Chicken Little. And in Sweden. the underperformance of the krona continues, but not at the same pace as yesterday’s whacking. Overnight we had a government funded forecaster utter these words. “FX intervention is the best way to boost CPI”.   OK, what he’s saying here, is the same line that we’ve heard from Japan, and the U.S.  That a weaker currency is the best way to boost consumer inflation.  Sure. if you get the currency weak enough! But then not only is inflation going to begin to become a problem, but the loss of purchasing power for the consumers is a real burden, and then you’ll have higher inflation with no growth. Stagflation.. Oh boy, sign me up for some of that good feeling we had during the Carter Administration! NOT! So, getting back to A$ and kiwi. The kiwi rally could end up being very short-lived today, as Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) will meet and then send a couple of RBNZ members out on the speaking circuit. I’m pretty sure that the RBNZ will take this opportunity to inject some verbal intervention to bring kiwi downward. This has been the RBNZ’s MO for a long time now, going back to the previous RBNZ Governors.  That is back to the Gov. that took over after Don Brash left the RBNZ.  For Don Brash knew the importance of a country having a strong currency. Well, I’ve read quite a bit the past day and night, and I continue to come away with a feeling that economists and analysts are going to have egg all over their collective faces.  Take the call that interest rates in the U.S. are going to be going higher sooner than originally thought. But then you look at the forward rates, and it appears that the markets have pushed the timing of the first rate hike by the Fed, out three months into the future. This puts the first rate hike at one year from now. And by then, I’m afraid that this will all be a moot point, because the lack of liquidity in the markets is going to become a real problem this winter, and maybe even before, and when that happens. Well, let’s just say, things will be different around here, and the Fed will be calling its team together for a gathering at the QE Table. The thought around the world these days, except in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and S. Korea is that a country needs a weaker currency to promote inflation, and growth. It’s a weak currency fallacy. Which happens to be the topic of this Sunday’s Pfennig & Pfriends article. My long-time friend, and current Boss, Frank Trotter, is putting that one together, so I’m already excited to open it up on Sunday morning and read it!  So, I sure hope that what I have to say here doesn’t steal any of his thunder. I associate the weak currency fallacy with countries that don’t have strong backbones when it comes to what’s important in providing a strong economy, business growth, providing price stability, and other things.  Speaking of China, the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) allowed another appreciation in the renminbi/ yuan overnight. That marks 3 consecutive days. I’m telling you now so you can listen to me later, the Chinese know what the color of the Gov’t PMI (manufacturing index) is going to print like tomorrow. I expect an increase in the index above 50, and making the Chinese look smart, because they raised the level of their currency prior to the print! OK. well. the FOMC meeting is this afternoon. This is the meeting where QE ends. The last round that has been around since being announced by Ben Bernanke on Sept 13, 2012, when $85 Billion of Treasuries and Mortgage Backed bonds were to be bought every month.  Good riddance to QE3, I must say!  I still don’t know how any country’s leaders allow their Central Bank to take on Quantitative Easing.  But Japan started all this back in the late 90’s. And just about every major market country has followed Japan’s lead since then. So, it’s coming to an end here in the U.S. today.  The bond market will be handed back to bond traders, and the era of easy money on the streets will come to an end. But for how long? OK. Well, the U.S. Data Cupboard yesterday was very disappointing, as Durable Goods Orders fell -1.3%, which was below market expectations of a .5% gain.  After a couple of months of wild swings due to Airplane orders, this data finally got to show its true colors, and they were not what everyone thought they would be. Which reminds me of that funny clip of the old Arizona Cardinals football coach, Dennis Green, saying over and over again, “They were who we thought they were”.   There’s nothing else on the Data Cupboard’s docket today, other than the FOMC meeting this afternoon. I’ll be sleeping when Fed Chair, Janet Yellen tells us all what the committee has decided. See, I don’t let these things get in the way of a good nap! HA! Gold is flat today, and I’ve got a great deal to talk about with Gold in the FWIW section today, so I’ll tie this up in a bow and hope you stick around until the FWIW section to see what I had to say about Gold today. Before I head to the Big Finish today, I wanted to follow up on my thought yesterday about Mr. Svensson, you know the fellow who left the Riksbank in a huff, because they wouldn’t let him call the shots, and how he had attended Princeton with Bernanke and Krugman, so I tied it up in bow regarding his (Svensson’s) call for Quantitative Easing / QE.   But dear reader, Dick A., responded to the Pfennig Blog site:  and said this. “Who is teaching these guys this stuff? Svensson was a grad student at MIT from ’74-’75. Krugman got his PhD from MIT in ’77. Bernanke got his PhD from MIT in ’79. But here is the icing on the cake: Stanley Fischer (NOT Richard Fischer of the Dallas Fed) got his PhD from MIT in ’69; Stanley Fischer was Bernanke’s thesis adviser. And finally  Stanley Fischer is the new Vice Chair of the Fed; after having left the Bank of Israel.”  Now We Know! Oh. I see said the blind man as he spit into the wind, it’s all coming back to me now! For What It’s Worth.  Earlier this month or late last month, I don’t recall the exact date, I told you about the Swiss Referendum that will take place at the end of November.  I told you that the Referendum could be HUGE for Gold.  I told you that the Referendum  would require The Swiss National Bank (SNB) to: 1. Hold all Gold reserves in Switzerland (they currently reside in Canada and the U.K.)  2. Not allow the SNB to sell any Gold and 3. Bring the total of Gold reserves to 20% of its total reserves.  Well, yesterday, I was reading my latest letter from Grant Williams, Things That Make You Go Hmmm.  which in my opinion is the absolute best letter you can read! And Grant Williams was talking about this Referendum, and he supplied me with a number that will blow your mind, to borrow a phrase from the early 70’s. Basically Grant Williams says that “the SNB has two choices. They can choose to reduce the size of their balance sheet, to meet the 20% figure, or they can buy Gold”.  Hmmm, what door do you think the SNB will choose? I know which one I think they’ll choose, and it’s certainly not the one that requires the SNB to reduce their balance sheet!  So. if the SNB were to have to buy Gold to meet the 20% requirement, (they currently hold about 7.6%) based on their current balance sheet, they would need to buy approximately 1,700 tonnes of Gold. (thanks to Grant Williams for that number, that I did not have before!)   WOW! OK, the SNB will have 5 years to meet the 20% requirement, but. given the SNB’s propensity to print Swiss francs, wouldn’t it make sense to start right away with the buying of Gold? OK. I know, I know, this referendum has to pass first before this all comes to be real. And I know how I got my hands caught in the cookie jar, looking ahead at the polls in Brazil. So, this all has to be taken sitting down, and not running to the nearest precious metals store! But. and you knew I would have something to say here, wouldn’t it make some sense to buy ahead of this referendum, that is, if you’re looking to buy in the first place? And if you’re not, tsk, tsk.  And OH! You know when I sat down, as edged on to do by the Big Boss, and ran some figures based on yesterday’s price of Gold $1,225. I came up with a total of 1,800 tonnes of Gold the SNB would have to buy. That’s nearly the annual supply of Gold folks!… And I guess at this point it’s important to talk about polls. The latest poll showed a 49% Ja vote (YES), not yet a majority, but here’s the kicker that I think will turn this vote to Ja. There’s no real opposition to the referendum. Except the Gov’t (& SNB). And from what I’ve read over the years, I doubt the Swiss people like the Gov’t telling them what to do. So, there you have it. Of course as we go through November, that rotten month of cold, steel gray, raw, bare limbed trees, days, I’ll be keeping you up to date on what’s going on in Switzerland. To recap. The FOMC meets today, and the markets have blinders on regarding anything else going on today. The higher yielding currencies are outperforming the other currencies. The Russian ruble is the exception in the higher yielder camp, but these days, the ruble gets blamed for everything. Yesterday it was Sweden’s krona getting taken to the woodshed, and today it’s the Norwegian krone, as Norwegian Retail Sales went negative in September and the Unemployment Rate rose to 3.7% from 3.4%, OH THE HUMANITY! 3.7% Unemployment, the sky is falling, the sky is falling!  Currencies today 10/29/14. American Style: A$ .8880, kiwi .7945, C$ .8960, euro 1.2725, sterling 1.6125, Swiss $1.0555, . European Style: rand 10.8485, krone 6.6565, SEK 7.3485, forint 242.65, zloty 3.3180, koruna 21.8195, RUB 42.75, yen 108.10, sing 1.2725, HKD 7.7555, INR 61.34, China 6.1405, pesos 13.44, BRL 2.4610, Dollar Index 85.44, Oil $81.84, 10-year 2.28%, Silver $17.21, Platinum $1,270.38, Palladium $797.25, and Gold. $1,228.90 That’s it for today. Well. Baseball’s World Series comes down to a Game 7 tonight.  In any sport, I love a Game 7. Hockey, Basketball, you name it, you don’t get more drama, and tension than in a Game 7! A player will shine tonight, and push his team to victory. I go back to what I said after Game 1,when the Giants had crushed the Royals, when a Royals fan texted me and said that the Royals were going to get swept, and I said, “Nah, they’ll come back”.  For once I didn’t give them the Chuck’s kiss of death! Bob Seger is singing his song: Turn the Page, from 1972! I’m telling you that in my opinion, the best rock and roll was made from 1965 to 1976. That’s where my 10 albums that I take to the island would come from, I can guarantee that!  My wife always makes fun of my music that I listen to. Oh well. Yes, there has been great stuff since 1976, but remember he had that disgusting disco era, then electric drums music era, then grunge, and then whatever it is they listen to today. I do have some newer songs on my IPod, but they are the exception for sure! My wife says, “That song is too cool for your IPod”.  Well, I guess we had better get moving toward the exits so we can get a good seat for the FOMC meeting this afternoon. So, with that.. I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more

FDA approves initiation of firstinhuman trial of DNAencoded monoclonal antibody

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 9 2019The Wistar Institute, along with partners Penn Medicine and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announce that the FDA has approved the initiation of a first-in-human clinical trial investigating the safety and tolerability of a novel synthetic DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody (DMAb) therapeutic technology for the prevention of Zika virus infection.DMAb therapeutic technology is unlike all known conventional therapeutic antibodies in that DMAbs are made inside of people, not manufacturing plants. Patients are administered DNA instructions to equip their bodies with the necessary tools to make their own highly specific antibodies against pathogenic targets such as bacteria, virus-infected cells and cancer cells.David B. Weiner, Ph.D., executive vice president, director of the Vaccine Center, and the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Professor in Cancer Research at Wistar, has been leading the research and development of the DMAb technology.Related StoriesUCR scientists decode genome of black-eyed peasHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsPopulation-scale DNA test could make personalized medicine effective and affordable for all”DMAb technology is changing the clinical story as we know it. In just the last few years we’ve conducted detailed preclinical studies developing this new platform and have demonstrated in vivo production of DMAbs using the CELLECTRA® delivery system,” said Weiner. “This approach represents the potential for major advancement over traditional monoclonal antibody approaches and may broaden therapeutic strategies opening new patient markets to the benefits of antibody-based therapies for disease prevention or treatment.”In 2016, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded funding to The Wistar Institute to move DMAb technology from prototype into a clinical candidate for eradicating an emerging infectious disease.Within two short years, a phase 1 clinical trial for Zika DMAbs is now enrolling participants. The trial will be led by Pablo Tebas, M.D., professor of infectious diseases at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a single center, open-label, dose escalation trial that will enroll up to 24 healthy volunteers who will receive up to four doses of Inovio vaccine/product INO-A002.”This is a completely novel technology that could change the way we deliver antibodies as therapeutic agents and may have the potential to be fast-tracked into clinical trials. While there are still questions to be answered, this could be useful not only for Zika, but for other emerging infections as well,” said Tebas.”While this trial targets Zika virus infection, we will gain important data from this study towards development of a broad range of our DMAb programs targeting infectious diseases, cancer, inflammation, as well as cardiovascular disease,” said J. Joseph Kim, Ph.D., president and CEO, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “Our collective goal is to develop this new and unique approach to monoclonal antibody technology that would allow for a new pipeline of high-impact DMAb products, which can be developed with corporate partnerships, external funding and collaborations.”last_img read more

Columbia neuroengineers create new system to translate thoughts into speech

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 29 2019In a scientific first, Columbia neuroengineers have created a system that translates thought into intelligible, recognizable speech. By monitoring someone’s brain activity, the technology can reconstruct the words a person hears with unprecedented clarity. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain. It also lays the groundwork for helping people who cannot speak, such as those living with as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or recovering from stroke, regain their ability to communicate with the outside world.These findings were published today in Scientific Reports.”Our voices help connect us to our friends, family and the world around us, which is why losing the power of one’s voice due to injury or disease is so devastating,” said Nima Mesgarani, PhD, the paper’s senior author and a principal investigator at Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. “With today’s study, we have a potential way to restore that power. We’ve shown that, with the right technology, these people’s thoughts could be decoded and understood by any listener.”Decades of research has shown that when people speak — or even imagine speaking — telltale patterns of activity appear in their brain. Distinct (but recognizable) pattern of signals also emerge when we listen to someone speak, or imagine listening. Experts, trying to record and decode these patterns, see a future in which thoughts need not remain hidden inside the brain — but instead could be translated into verbal speech at will.But accomplishing this feat has proven challenging. Early efforts to decode brain signals by Dr. Mesgarani and others focused on simple computer models that analyzed spectrograms, which are visual representations of sound frequencies.But because this approach has failed to produce anything resembling intelligible speech, Dr. Mesgarani’s team turned instead to a vocoder, a computer algorithm that can synthesize speech after being trained on recordings of people talking.”This is the same technology used by Amazon Echo and Apple Siri to give verbal responses to our questions,” said Dr. Mesgarani, who is also an associate professor of electrical engineering at Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.Related StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaTo teach the vocoder to interpret to brain activity, Dr. Mesgarani teamed up with Ashesh Dinesh Mehta, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon at Northwell Health Physician Partners Neuroscience Institute and co-author of today’s paper. Dr. Mehta treats epilepsy patients, some of whom must undergo regular surgeries.”Working with Dr. Mehta, we asked epilepsy patients already undergoing brain surgery to listen to sentences spoken by different people, while we measured patterns of brain activity,” said Dr. Mesgarani. “These neural patterns trained the vocoder.”Next, the researchers asked those same patients to listen to speakers reciting digits between 0 to 9, while recording brain signals that could then be run through the vocoder. The sound produced by the vocoder in response to those signals was analyzed and cleaned up by neural networks, a type of artificial intelligence that mimics the structure of neurons in the biological brain.The end result was a robotic-sounding voice reciting a sequence of numbers. To test the accuracy of the recording, Dr. Mesgarani and his team tasked individuals to listen to the recording and report what they heard.”We found that people could understand and repeat the sounds about 75% of the time, which is well above and beyond any previous attempts,” said Dr. Mesgarani. The improvement in intelligibility was especially evident when comparing the new recordings to the earlier, spectrogram-based attempts. “The sensitive vocoder and powerful neural networks represented the sounds the patients had originally listened to with surprising accuracy.”Dr. Mesgarani and his team plan to test more complicated words and sentences next, and they want to run the same tests on brain signals emitted when a person speaks or imagines speaking. Ultimately, they hope their system could be part of an implant, similar to those worn by some epilepsy patients, that translates the wearer’s thoughts directly into words.”In this scenario, if the wearer thinks ‘I need a glass of water,’ our system could take the brain signals generated by that thought, and turn them into synthesized, verbal speech,” said Dr. Mesgarani. “This would be a game changer. It would give anyone who has lost their ability to speak, whether through injury or disease, the renewed chance to connect to the world around them.” Source: read more

Popular place for peaceful retreat

first_imgAn aerial view of the first water treatment plant in Malaysia located in Penang Botanic Gardens. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Tags / Keywords: Once standing at 18.5m tall with a crown 24.4m wide, the tree was a favourite photo subject among shutterbugs.It was one of the 20 rain trees planted in the Gardens in 1887 to commemorate the 50th year reign of Queen Victoria.Penang Botanic Gardens Department acting director Nur Faizah Tajudin said plans were in the pipeline to upgrade the facilities and infrastructure to cope with the increasing number of visitors. Main entrance to the Penang Botanic Gardens with the stump of the majestic rain tree behind the gate. Visitors taking pictures while on a buggy ride in the park. “I love the fresh air and the serenity, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.“I do not expect anything more than the facilities here,” she said.The 29ha well-landscaped park is divided into 12 sections – Formal Garden, Lily Pond, Perdana Plant House, Tropical Rainforest Jungle Track, Fern House, Fern Rockery, Aroid Walkaway, Cactus House, Orchidarium, Horticulture Centre, Nursery and Quarry Recreational Park.Among the trees that can be found here are rain trees, cannonball trees, Argus pheasant trees, candle trees and ebony trees. There is also a 1.5km Curtis trail for a hike into the jungle. The trail is named after British botanist Charles Curtis who was tasked with setting up the park in 1884.There is a waterfall and the country’s first water treatment plant built in 1805 which is still in operation until today at the back of the park.A 1m-tall stump is still visible at the park’s entrance. The 130-year-old rain tree was chopped down in 2017 after being dead for almost two years. FOR those who love fresh air, greenery, recreational facilities and be close to nature, then Penang Botanic Gardens remains an all-time favourite for locals and tourists.Also known as the Waterfalls Garden, the park affords visitors breathtaking views of the trees and plants along the pathways while soaking up the serenity of the Gardens or hiking up the hill.Senior citizens also make the 135-year-old park their rendezvous for their leisure walks in the morning and evening. Cannonball trees line the tarred road in the park.center_img Businessman Tommy Tok, 37, said he admired the trees and flowers during his occasional walks in the gardens.“I like to come here for a jog. The fresh air and sunshine are also good for health,” he said.Avid jogger Sylvia Lim said the place was a ‘green’ birthright she had been enjoying since she was a child. Northern Region Related News “The lack of parking spaces has led to traffic congestion, especially during weekends when buses come in with tourists.“We are planning to build a five-storey car park complex outside the park and set up a natural amphitheatre just beside the entrance,” she said.Admission to the park is free. A scenic view of the park. “We receive between 600 and 800 visitors daily. “As the park is a popular spot that is easily accessible within the city, many locals come here to exercise in the morning and evening. AdChoices广告A water fountain feature at the main entrance of the park. Monkeys hanging around without much disturbance as visitors enjoy a walk in the park. — Photos: ZAINUDIN AHAD/The Starlast_img read more